THE SECRET DOCTRINE
[Light, London, Vol. VIII, No. 416, December 22, 1888, pp. 634]
To the Editor of Light.
SIR,—Permit me for the first time after many years of silence, and probably for the last time, to say a few words in answer to the direct attack upon me (in your issue of October 15th) by “Leo.” He premises by speaking of my “violence and personal animus against Christianity.” I premise by replying that his statement is absolutely the reverse of truth, and that only one who reads my writings very superficially could get such a wrong idea. I have no animus. On the contrary, I have the greatest admiration for the Christianity of Christ, identified with Jesus of Nazareth and embodied in the Sermon on the Mount. On the other hand, in perfect agreement with “Leo,” I have the greatest contempt for “Church” Christianity, or “Churchianity,” so-called by Mr. Laurence Oliphant—that which “Leo” so aptly describes in his criticism as a “combination of feeble ignorance and bigotry.”
At this Christianity, as my critic confesses, “it is no wonder that the shafts of the enemy [read Theosophists, or, perhaps, ‘Madame Blavatsky’] are levelled.” And if so, why should my “violence and personal animus”—if any—be taken to task by one who is at one with me in this? He adds, it is true, “Very different is the grand and magnificent Christianity which is to come,” and proceeds as though it were this future Christianity I was sinning against in The Secret Doctrine as in private life. Now, notwithstanding “Leo’s” suspicion that I “evidently” consider myself “superior to Éliphas Lévi,” even my outrageous vanity in that direction could have hardly suggested to me any “violence or personal animus” against the grand and magnificent Christianity which is to come. For how can I hate that which exists nowhere so far—outside the womb of futurity? No more than the “foolish virgins” can even “Leo” “know the day nor the hour when the bridegroom [of that future
Christianity] cometh.” For which Christianity then, am I taken to task? Is it for “Christianity as at present,” or the one now gestating in the brain of “Leo”? Evidently my critic, who accuses me of having neglected “the management of currents,” taught by Éliphas Lévi, has neglected it as much, if not more. He sought to direct a current of sarcasm against me, and got himself caught in the finest current of paradoxical illogicalness, such as even the great Abbé Louis Constant could well envy him.
Nor is his selection of “Theosophical perversion of religious ideas” any happier. He quotes a query in The Secret Doctrine: “. . . . . what have other nations to do with that particular national Deity?,” * i.e., Yahoveh or Jehovah, and shows me making the latter identical with chaos “ The Sun and Moon, good and evil, God and demon.” But, as elsewhere † I remark in an entirely different combination of symbolism, that “the Sun is the giver of life to the whole planetary system; the Moon is the giver of life to our globe,” “Leo” promptly proceeds to make of these two remarks (separated, by-the-bye, by almost 200 pages, and relating to entirely different subjects) a major and a minor proposition, and draws therefrom the following syllogistic conclusion: “Therefore the God of the Jews and Christians is both Sun and Moon and Giver of Life.” Ergo, Madame Blavatsky is guilty of a gross contradiction.
Now, the “therefore” is a conclusion that a Frenchman would call tirée par les cheveux. Why should it be Jehovah of the Jews and Christians, “therefore,” any more than Ahura Mazda of the Parsis, Osiris of the Egyptians, or Bel of the Chaldees? And why should Jehovah be called “the God of the Christians,” since he is not once named in the New Testament, and since no Theosophist could speak with more implied contempt of
* [The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 576.]
† [The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 386.]
that tribal god and his commandments than Jesus himself? Let “Leo” read Matthew v, and see whether almost every verse in it does not demolish the Ten Commandments given by that angry and jealous Sinaitic Deity through Moses. “Therefore,” I would strongly advise “Leo” before he finds fault with others and exposes their supposed “contradictions”—”with unprejudiced mind and taking notes thereof”—to study the Bible himself, and above all, to learn to read it understandingly.
I feel very thankful, however, for his kind advice to the public to read my work. This is very unselfish; the more so as upon following it, comparing it with his criticism, and “taking notes,” no man with a teaspoonful of unprejudiced brains in his head can fail to see that there are more illogical contradictions in the half column occupied by “Leo’s” denunciatory letter, than in the 1,500 pages of The Secret Doctrine. But then people do like to see themselves in print, and to give other people pokes in the ribs from behind the sure screen of a pseudonym!
H. P. BLAVATSKY.